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‘Plenty of room at the inn’: tourism on a knife-edge

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

‘Plenty of room at the inn’: tourism on a knife-edge

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'Plenty of room at the inn': Sunshine Coast tourism on a knife-edge as holidays begin

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After experiencing serious disruptions to the winter holiday period, Sunshine Coast tourism operators are calling on Queenslanders to “follow the Sunshine” and book in for the upcoming school holiday period.

Matt Stoeckel, CEO of Visit Sunshine Coast, said uncertainty caused by the COVID outbreak had decimated tourism businesses over the past six months.

He said with the major interstate markets closed for tourists, there had never been a more important time for Queenslanders to holiday local.

“Usually, our accommodation operators are pretty much full during the September school holidays, but this year operators are reporting barely 60 per cent occupancy in the lead-up to the holiday — so there is still plenty of room at the inn,” Mr Stoeckel said.

“Visit Sunshine Coast has been pulling out all stops to target Brisbane and the surrounding drive market as well as South Australia with the recommencement of free-flowing interstate travel which will extend the holiday period by a week to October 8.

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“Due to the hit in travel confidence, we know people are booking last minute and we want to encourage them to visit the Sunshine Coast.

“This is a fantastic time to enjoy the region, with warm days, mild nights and incredible water-based attractions, including whale watching and swimming with whales, that goes through till mid-October.

“In addition to a lively calendar of events, many of the attractions across the Sunshine Coast will be holding special holiday activities for visitors including Paw Patrol at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast.”

SEA LIFE General Manager, Quinn Clarke said the aquarium was excited to be partnering with Paw Patrol The Movie to bring a splash of adventure to your school holidays.

“There will be Paw Patrol activities throughout the aquarium, and special pup packs for kids on arrival. SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast will be open seven days a week, from 8am daily during the school holidays and we ask that all visitors pre-book their tickets online in advance.”

Sunshine Coast events and activities:

18 September to 4 October – Paw Patrol at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast
18 September to 4 October – Spring Holiday Fun at Australia Zoo
20, 21, 23, 27, 28 and 30 Sept – Busy Bee Hotel Workshops at The Ginger Factory
24 September – Moonlight Food Markets, Eumundi
24 September – Ride the Night, Aussie World
1-3 October, Caloundra Music Festival, Kings Beach
2 October, Mary Valley Rattler 3rd Birthday, Gympie
2 October, Walking with Dinosaurs, Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens

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